How to Live in a Japanese Apartment

Setting Up Utilities in a Japanese Apartment: Electricity – English Contact Numbers

In this article, which is part of the “how to live in a Japanese apartment series,” we explain how to turn on electricity when you move into your new apartment in Japan.

Electricity in Japan

Electrical voltage in Japan is 100 volts – 50/60 Hz AC. Fifty (50) Hz is common in eastern Japan, including Tokyo, and 60 Hz in western Japan, including Kobe, Osaka, and Kyoto. This is different from many other regions of the world, including North America (120V) and parts of Europe (230V).

Turning on the breaker

Once you receive the keys to your apartment and have actually moved in, find the circuit breaker and flip the main switch to the “On”position (the Japanese character for “On” is 入). In a Japanese apartment, the circuit breaker is often found near the entrance or the bathroom. If you’ve already called ahead to set up an account in your name, you’re all set once you’ve turned on the breaker.

If you’ve turned on the breaker and your electricity still doesn’t work, you will need to call your local power company using the contact numbers below.

Setting up your account

If you aren’t able to call ahead to set up an account, find the small pre-paid postcard application form (usually attached to the circuit breaker or placed inside your mailbox), fill in the details (your name, address, date of service start, and how you want to be billed; that is, whether by automatic bank transfer or payment voucher at a convenience store), and mail it in as soon as possible. You need to do this in order to set up an account in your name. If you fail to do so, your power will be turned off if your electricity supplier discovers that you haven’t registered (and paid for) your usage.

You can also call your local electricity company to set up an account. Please note that many businesses, banks, government offices, and customer support offices for utility companies are closed during the end-of-year holidays (usually between December 29th and January 3rd).

Electricity Companies in Japan: English Customer Service Contact Info

There are ten different electricity companies in Japan, divided by geographic region.

Here’s how you can reach your local supplier in English to set up an account for electricity service:

TEPCO (Tokyo Electric Power Company)

TEPCO supplies power to the Kanto region (which includes Tokyo and Chiba, Saitama, and Kanagawa prefectures), as well as Yamanashi and parts of Shizuoka.

The TEPCO customer service numbers for setting up service differ depending on where you live in Kanto.

Please visit the official TEPCO site for a complete list of English contact numbers: TEPCO Customer Service Contact Numbers

TEPCO Official English Site

KEPCO (Kansai Electric Power Company)

KEPCO supplies power to the Kobe-Osaka-Kyoto region

Contact numbers for setting up electricity service with KEPCO. Source: Osaka University, Support Office for International Students and Scholars

Official KEPCO guide to using electricity

CEPCO (Chugoku Electric Power Company)

CEPCO services Tottori, Shimane, Okayama, Hiroshima, and Yamaguchi prefectures.

The contact number for setting up service depends on where you live.

Please visit the official CEPCO site for a complete list of English contact numbers: CEPCO Customer Service Contact Numbers

Chuden (Chubu Electric Power Company)

Chuden supplies power to Aichi, Shizuoka, Mie, Gifu, and Nagano prefectures.

The contact number for setting up service depends on where you live.

Please visit the official Chuden site for a complete list of English contact numbers: Chuden Customer Service Contact Numbers

Rikuden (Hokuriku Electric Power Company)

Rikuden supplies power to most areas of Toyama, Ishikawa and Fukui frefectures and parts of Gifu prefecture.

Rikuden Customer Service Number: 0120-776-453 (in Japanese only)

Official Hokuden Website (in English): Guide to Using Electricity in Hokuriku

Hokuden (Hokkaido Electric Power Company)

Hokuden supplies most of the power to Sapporo and all of Hokkaido.

Hokuden Customer Service Number for setting up service: 0120-12-6565

Hokkaido Electric Power Company

Kyuden (Kyushu Electric Power Company)

Kyuden suppies power to Fukuoka, Saga, Nagasaki, Oita, Kumamoto, Miyazaki, and Kagoshima prefectures.

To set up service, please call the sales office nearest your home.

Kyuden Sales Office Contact Information

Okiden (Okinawa Electric Power Company)

Okiden supplies power to all of Okinawa.

To set up service, please call: 0120-586-390

Okiden official English website

Tohokuden (Tohoku Electric Power Company)

Tohokuden supplies power to the six prefectures of Tohoku (Akita, Aomori, Fukushima, Iwate, Miyagi, and Yamagata), plus Niigata prefecture.

In Tohoku and most parts of Niigata, the frequency is 50 hertz; but in some parts of Myoko city and Itoigawa city, and the whole area of Sado city in Niigata, it is 60 hertz.

To set up service, please call: 0120-175-366

Tohoden official English website

Yonden (Kyushu Electric Power Company)

Yonden supplies power to most of the four prefectures of Shikoku: Ehime, Kagawa, Kōchi, and Tokushima.

Please allow two business days, from the date of application,  for electricity service to start.

You can contact Yonden in English by e-mail or phone.

Yonden Customer Service E-Mail (starting and stopping service):

Yonden Customer Service Number:  0120 – 410 – 761

Yonden official English site

You may also be interested in: Procedures for registering at your city or ward office when you move into your apartment in Japan

Lead photo: iStock/Orthosie  1442311182

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